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Rockefellers say it’s time for ExxonMobil to get green

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If Greenbang were to replace Sir Alan on The Apprentice, he would be as sure as his arse has got a hole in it that his idiot charges should always remember two things: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and always stick to what you know.

But what does Greenbang know about making money? Not much evidently. The Rockefellers, a family that became stinking rich from oil, is flouting Greenbang’s business management advice by pushing for ExxonMobil – the company their great-great grandaddy founded – to start getting green.

Fifteen members of the Rockefeller clan and ExxonMobil shareholders are hoping to get the company’s board of directors to appoint an independent chairman to get the green bandwagon rolling. The fellow in question would be charged with shaking the company out of its fixation with fossil fuels and get it to start exploring renewable energy.

While carrying on with the gas and oil gig would keep them rolling in the money for a few more years, it’s a short term approach that won’t be good for ExxonMobil’s bottom line in the long run, they reckon.

The Rockefellers have filed four shareholder resolutions that urge ExxonMobil to expand into renewables and alternative fuels like their competitors, such as Shell and BP.

These resolutions will be put to the vote on 28 May, and here they are for your perusal:

Require an Independent Board Chairman. Resolved: That the shareholders urge the Board of Directors to take the necessary steps to amend the by-laws to require that an independent director shall serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and that the Chairman of the Board of Directors shall not concurrently serve as the Chief Executive Officer.

Establish a Task Force to Study the Consequences of Global Warming on Poor Economies. Resolved: Shareholders ask ExxonMobil Corporation’s (“ExxonMobil’s) Board of Directors to establish a task force, which should include both (a) two or more independent directors and (b) relevant company staff, to investigate and report to shareholders on the likely consequences of global climate change between now and 2030, for emerging countries, and poor communities in these countries and developed countries, and to compare these outcomes with scenarios in which ExxonMobil takes leadership in developing sustainable energy technologies that can be used by and for the benefit of those most threatened by climate change.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Products and Operations. Resolved: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on current technologies, for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company’s products and operations; and that the Company report to shareholders by September 30, 2008, on its plans to achieve these goals.

Adopt Renewable Energy Policy. Resolved: That ExxonMobil’s Board adopt a policy for renewable energy research, development and sourcing, reporting on its progress to investors in 2009.

1 Comment

  • Roy Chardon
    Posted January 4, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    One can see why so many in the world question the values of capitalism when they see the results of myopic “leaders” like those at EXXON. The irony is that the decision to persist on the perceived maximum-near-term-profit path almost certainly is not “good for long-term business.” Why do business leaders want to sell the company’s future to short-term speculators who will dump the stock once the trouble begins?The short-term profit incentives given to management seem to me in large part to be responsible for the current depressed economy. The failure to penalize the culprits when business decisions severely damage our economy (e.g. inflationary stock marketing practices, Enron, the savings and loan industry, the automotive industry, predatory loans/home mortgages, and many others) provide no de-incentives to those who lack ethical vision. The apparently widespread aversion to criticizing anything relating to businesses remains puzzling to me. My late comment on this article is a direct result of the difficulty in locating any discussion of the laudable, but ineffective efforts to bring EXXON into the real world. It doesn’t take an expert to see where they will be in a few years. I’m sorry to say, perhaps the sooner, the better. Perhaps we might entertain a suitable (thought provoking?) slogan: I suggest “businesses ain’t got no leadership, green or otherwise.” Thanks for the article; I was beginning to think no one noticed what happened.

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